Vietnamese cueists have set a modest goal of one gold medal in the billiards&snooker event at the 28th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Singapore starting next month.
“Our target is to take a gold medal in the one-cushion carom division. In other categories, we will wait for luck to strike,” said Coach Nguyen Viet Hoa.
Ma Minh Cam is Viet Nam’s gold medal hope at the Games. Cam won a gold medal in the one-cushion carom event at the 2011 Games in Indonesia, and in the 2013 Games in Myanmar, he took a silver medal after losing to 53-year-old Vietnamese Dang Dinh Tien in the finals.
Cam will have to beat 13 strong rivals to take one gold.
According to Hoa, it will not be easy for Viet Nam to bag gold medals in other categories.
Hoa noted that out of 10 billiards&snooker events at the 28th Games, four will be English billiards. Singapore surpasses other countries in English billiards as it owns English players naturalised in Singapore. Notable among them is Peter Gilchrist who had triumphed in world events in 1994, 2001, and 2013. Gilchrist has had no rivals at three Games in a row.
Meanwhile, in women’s 9-ball pool, Huynh Thi Ngoc Huyen is likely to reach the semi-finals. Four years ago, at the 26th Games in Indonesia, Huyen won the first bronze medal in Viet Nam’s sport history, in women’s billiards, and in 2013, she again took a bronze medal at the 27th Games in Myanmar.
“I hope I can change my medal’s colour this time,” Huyen remarked.
As part of preparations for the Games, a 12-member team has convened in both Ha Noi and HCM City from March 31.
The team will leave for Singapore on Thursday to participate in its competition events from June 6 to 10.
After the SEA Games, the players will compete in the three-cushion Carom World Cup in HCM City in August.